The Science Fiction movies during the 1970s were a refection of its time. In its bowels one would find a warning about what could be and what should be. Well at least in the best SF would have them.
Thorn and Sol were characters from the film Soylent Green. Room mates in a world that had no room. The Earth was suffering from ecological disaster and humanity was filling up space. Food was rationed. It was not food as we know it. In this period the food chain was destroyed. Man was living on rations called Soylent Green – food processed from plankton.
And in this time lived Thorn and Sol.Thorn a detective investigating the death of a richman and Sol man who remembered an Earth before the ecological disaster and overpopulation problems. A world where one had been able to buy meat, eggs and jam without any problem.
In fact Thorn had stolen a number of luxury items from the apartment of the murdered rich man. Sol was in tears when he saw them, the produce.
Soylent Green of course is well know for its end scene and the implication it brings to us, in our present state were scientists haved warned us of the ecological disasters and mass extinctions that may soon happen.
The film like most Science Fiction and most stories reminds us of our own possible dooms. And perhaps frighten us enough to do something.
But more there was something else.
And people refer to it as the scene where Sol had decided to seek assisted suicide.
The suicide room had a couch or bed at the center and its walls were actually screen where scenes from an undamaged Earth was being played out with accompanying classical music- for a full thirty minutes. Just enough time for the poison to do its job and then one died.
It was one of the more poignant scenes in the mystery-procedural-dystopian-science fiction film. It was the scene where Thorn and Sol said their tearful farewells:
“I love you Thorn.”
“I love you Sol.”
If Charleton Heston,who played Thorn, seemed genuinely distraught about the dying of Sol it maybe because it was genuine. Edward G. Robinson, who playec Sol Roth, was actually dying and it was actually his last days on Earth. Only Heston knew that Robinson was already dying of cancer.
Then such things make a movie a film interesting. At least Robinson went out doing what he did best. And with a friend by his side.